1. Ray LaHood is a Peoria, Ill., native, the grandson of some of the first Lebanese immigrants to settle there.
2. After attending a Roman Catholic high school in Peoria, he earned a bachelor's degree in education and sociology from Bradley University, also in Peoria.
3. LaHood enjoys working with kids. He spent six years teaching junior high social studies, which sparked his interest in politics. He worked with troubled teens as the director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau. He still likes to visit schools to speak to the kids about government and politics.
4. A strong advocate for advancing Abraham Lincoln's legacy, LaHood authored a law to establish the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He also has led efforts to support the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.
5. As a congressman, LaHood was one of only three Republicans who did not sign the Contract with America, Newt Gingrich's manifesto for a Republican majority.
6. Known for his knowledge of congressional procedure and his civility, LaHood was chosen to preside over President Clinton's impeachment.
7. He believes the Electoral College is antiquated and should be abolished.
8. He and his wife, Kathy, have been married for more than 40 years. They are Catholic and have four children and seven grandchildren.
9. He has a passion for golf and the Chicago Bulls.
10. Easter Seals is building the Ray and Kathy LaHood Center for Cerebral Palsy in Peoria. The first phase of the project is scheduled to open late this year.